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New Year, New Rules

Posted Jan 08 2011 7:10pm

As we welcome in 2011, it's time to rethink our style. One of the easiest ways to give your style a boost is to give it a little bit of a re-frame. That is to say, not just look at the trends but look at the rules you have around fashion.

While fashion can be quite fickle and open to interpretation, most of us have 'rules' around style that dictate what we can wear and what we can't. But with a quick review of those rules, you'll notice that many of them are outdated or are in need of a little upgrade. I'd like to provide you with guidelines for resetting your rules around style - or breaking them altogether - to help you look your best this year!

1/ Monochromatic Looks - While this look can be popular in an I-don't-have-to-think-about-it kind of way, I want to encourage you to embrace monchromatic looks for 2011 in a whole new way. Instead of mixing black pieces (that may or may not match), try tone-on-tone as in lighter gray mixed with medium gray and topped off with charcoal. Then pop your monochromatic look with an accent of color for a fresh perspective. Also, add in texture - velvet, corduroy, jacquard or lace in the same color - to add a subtle sophistication to a simple, yet chic look.

2. White Denim - Generally saved for the summer months, white denim is now a great look year-round. Just add a turtleneck in a deep hue and a chic pair of boots to give them a cold-weather spin. Jackie O made this look fresh way back when, now you can too!

3. Trouser Jeans - These are gonna be hot this year, but in my book they're a classic. Women of every age can benefit from having a pair of these in their closet: they're flattering to all body types, they can be dressed up or down and can even make an appearance at the office other than casual Fridays. Eat your heart out, five-pockets!

4. Mixing Prints - I love to mix prints and am often surprised that so many women don't feel that they can do it. Mixing prints and/or textures is a great way to add interest to your outfit without looking overdone. The key is to have one dominant print and one supporting print. If you have more than one, just let one take center stage for best effect. As long as the colors relate, you're golden.

5. Daytime Glitz and Glam - Not just for parties anymore, sequins, beaded clothing and anything with a little sparkle is now perfect for daytime. But here's the catch: it must be dressed down. You don't want to be strolling down the aisles of the grocery looking as though you're ready for a black-tie affair. It's all in the mix: try a sequin or beaded tank under a casual cardigan and a pair of trouser jeans for an understated yet unexpected look. Or add in a shimmering scarf to your basic black for a festive touch.

6. Less is More - When it comes to accessories, step away from the matchy-matchy look of earrings and a necklace set (too matronly) and opt for a statement piece instead. Go for a bold statement necklace, then if you must wear earrings stick with simple studs. If you'd prefer statement earrings, skip the necklace and wear a pretty scarf instead. Let your jewelry get the attention it deserves without having competition.

7. A New Neutral - My clients and readers have all heard me say that black is not everyone's best color. If it's not yours, pick a new neutral that makes you shine and find ways to work it into your wardrobe in any way that you'd wear black - a coat, shoes, boots, pants, etc. Try different shades of it (see #1) to create depth. How to find your best neutral? Easy. Just look at your haircolor(s). If you have brown hair, opt for shades of espresso, chestnut, or mocha. Blonde tones? Caramel, camel, beige. Salt and pepper? Charcoal, black, light gray, white. Redheaded? Opt for rust, caramel and warm colors with reddish undertones. When you repeat your personal coloring it's incredibly flattering and only makes you look better!

If your style needs a re-boot for the new year, contact me at to set up a complimentary 15-minute Get Acquainted session to find out how you can look your best!
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